toon limbo

February 5, 2009

A couple of blog readers have asked questions about how many characters in the armoury are not currently being played.

We all have parked alts that, maybe, get a day out at the AH or the bank every now and then if they’re lucky. And the suggestion was made that there are a lot of abandoned toons at the lower levels because players try new classes then decide they don’t like the playstyles associated with that class.

They’re excellent questions. I had this idea that getting answers was going to be hard, but last night I had a eureka moment (perhaps somebody is spiking the local water supply…) After a brief facepalm, it was off to the SQL editor for a bit of date manipulation. And ta-da, here we have an answer:

Months since last played

The armoury supplies the last-login date for each character. It’s just a matter of working back from the date when I did the current armoury scan. I’ve based the chart on months-since-last-played to keep it small and simple; splitting up the data by weeks or days doesn’t show anything very different.

You can see that nearly all level 80s have been played in the same month as the scan. Since the scan itself takes a couple of weeks, to me that means that the vast majority of level 80s are actively played. At level 70, just over 30% haven’t been played for a month and 11% haven’t been played for two months prior to the scan. So the proportion of inactive or low-active alts in the level 70 population might be around 30 to 40%.

The number of inactive toons in the lower levels (I’ve excluded levels 18 and 19 to eliminate the pool of BG twinks parked there, who no doubt are played often) is clearly higher still (20% haven’t been played for 2 months) which suggests that there is indeed a significant pool of baby toons that are never going to grow up to see Naxx…

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